Are you experiencing strange physical symptoms after unprotected sex? Did you miss a period this month? Or did your birth control fail? If so, you might be pregnant. The only way to know for sure is by taking a pregnancy test and following up with an ultrasound

How Does a Pregnancy Test Work?

At the moment of conception (when the sperm meets the egg), particular hormones become present in your body. One of these hormones is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). 

A pregnancy test works by detecting hCG in a urine or blood sample.

Urine Pregnancy Tests

At-home pregnancy tests utilize urine, and they are widely available at most drug stores. They are a relatively cheap, convenient option.

Most at-home pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate if taken correctly. 

Urine pregnancy tests detect hCG in your urine, but they can’t measure the actual levels of this hormone.

Blood Pregnancy Tests

Blood pregnancy tests are only available in a doctor’s office and can be more expensive. However, they are more sensitive and can also measure the actual levels of hCG. 

Blood pregnancy tests are typically used in very early pregnancy when a woman needs to know her hCG levels (for example, when she’s at risk of miscarriage). 

When Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?

Most at-home pregnancy tests recommend waiting to test on the first day of your missed period. This is when the test will be most accurate. 

HCG levels start low but rise quickly, and if you take a pregnancy test too soon, you run the risk of receiving a false negative (this means that you’re actually pregnant, but your hCG levels are too low for the test to detect). 

Waiting until the first day of your missed period will give you the most accurate results, but sometimes, it can be hard to know when to expect your period. If this is the case and you get a negative result after taking a pregnancy test, take another one a week later. 

Also, using your first-morning urine will give you the most accurate result because it’s the most concentrated.

Where Can I Get Free Pregnancy Testing?

At the Pregnancy Help Center, we offer free, confidential pregnancy testing because we believe you deserve the clarity you need.

During a pregnancy testing appointment, a nurse will administer a lab-quality urine pregnancy test and give you the results. You will also be given the time to ask questions afterward and offered an ultrasound (an essential second step for confirming your pregnancy). 

Contact us today to get the answers you need.